A serial car thief who blamed pals for getting him into trouble has been jailed and warned his future contacts will be vetted.
Terence Deegan was caught after stealing or trying to steal several cars in Motherwell and Bellshill - apparently for fun - within just a few days.
The 21-year-old from Glasgow was jailed for 27 months at Hamilton Sheriff Court last week after he admitted a string of charges.
Deegan targeted cars in Woodlands Drive and Elmhurst, Motherwell, and Centenary Crescent, Leggate Way and Liberty Road, Bellshill, between June 28 and July 3.
In some cases he broke into the owner’s house and stole the car keys. Two vehicles were stolen from one house.
Deegan was on bail at the time and was under supervision after being released from prison.
Dylan Hay (22), of Turquoise Terrace, Bellshill, was accused of being involved in the theft from Elmhurst, but had his not guilty plea accepted.
A defence agent said there was no evidence that Deegan stole cars to make money.
The solicitor told the court: “He made a mistake and engaged with individuals who were involved in this.
“However, he doesn’t hide from the fact he made his own choice to travel from Glasgow to associate with these people and accepts his conduct had a dramatic effect on car owners who suffered.”
Deegan’s solicitor admitted there was “an element of planning” as certain “devices” were used in some cases to steal cars.
But he added: “There was no prospect of financial gain. A car would be driven only a short distance before another one was taken.”
Deegan’s not guilty plea to a charge of driving one of the stolen cars dangerously and crashing into a police car in Community Road, Bellshill, was accepted. Charges of resisting arrest on two occasions were also dropped.
As well as jailing him, Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen banned Deegan from driving for four years.
He told the accused: “If you keep breaking into people’s houses, stealing car keys and taking their cars you will keep getting sent to prison for the protection of the public. It’s as simple as that.”
Sheriff MacFadyen told Deegan he will be supervised for 13 months on his release from jail and agreed to a suggestion that his associates be monitored.
The sheriff added: “You must not associate with any person your supervising officer says is no good for you. Fail to comply and you will be returned to custody.”